Dan Santelli

Dan Santelli Patron

Favorite films

  • The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
  • Le Corbeau
  • Letter from an Unknown Woman

Recent activity

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  • Nostalgia

    ★★★★½

  • La Roue

    ★★★★½

  • Avalanche Express

    ★★

  • Street Trash

    ★★★½

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  • Daisy Kenyon

    Daisy Kenyon

    ★★★★★

    "Don’t ever expect one person to replace another. You might be disappointed."

    100 minutes of Preminger firing flaming arrows into the Hollywood melodrama template, curbing all desire to frame character as broad or incident as heightened (Dana Andrews compulsively shutting off Daisy’s phonograph is a perfect shorthand) for something more empathic, suggestive, and progressive. Nobody is either good or bad, just flawed. They’re always changing, always revealing, constantly on the move, at once noble (Daisy’s sophistication and independence, Dan’s commitment…

  • The Leopard Man

    The Leopard Man

    ★★★★

    Jacques Tourneur and Val Lewton's fatalistic roundelay of intersecting lives and communal panic functions dually as a formative slasher outing and an auteurist triumph for both artists. Thirteen Women gets a lot of credit for conceiving the slasher scenario, but this surpasses that early on with the bold choice to devise an expansive, lived-in portraiture of a town collectively responding to crisis; this reinforces Samm Deighan’s observation that Tourneur fixates on the victim's experiences leading up to their murders, thus…

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  • Nostalgia

    Nostalgia

    ★★★★½

    Unfortunately, if there are casual onlookers, who aren’t supplicants, then nothing happens.

    Tarkovsky’s first film made in self-imposed exile continues his career-long preoccupation with his motherland; here, he virtually aestheticizes his homesickness through a forcefully (and depressively) oneiric ambiance fusing tactile dislocation and emotional liminality. In some ways, this is a continuation of Stalker's iconography, with Tarkovsky casting a pall of murk, grime, and decay on the native beauty of Tuscany, effectively conceptualizing Italy as an extension of the Zone…

  • La Roue

    La Roue

    ★★★★½

    Life and love as Sisyphean tasks; Greek tragedy transposed onto Industrial France. Gance’s century-old scripture of modernist montage and proto-Poetic Realist pageantry sees its characters run circles around melodramatic contortions and distortions of perspective. Father and Son are blinded by a love deemed forbidden by self-imposed delusion. Sifis sublimates it, while Elie bemoans it. Norma becomes the audience proxy and serves as a narrative and symbolic Lagrange point. Everyone is carried along by the hands of fate until things come…

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  • The Whale

    The Whale

    Deep-dyed Aronofsky drivel that just doesn’t let up. Fraser is as good as you’ve heard and he deserves everything coming his way, but there’s no ground for him to stand on because Darren would rather he float like a martyred saint than be a flesh-and-blood human being. Two hours of highfalutin self-seriousness, faux-spiritual twaddle, supporting actors playing every beat at Oscar Clip-level, two-dimensional characters, explicated Themes, embalmed Symbols, affected solemnity, and relentless, single-minded dramatic monotony, all tied up in a…

  • Sound of Freedom

    Sound of Freedom

    You hear that? That's the Sound of Freedom.

    You'd think this vaguely faith-based anti-child trafficking hagiography would amount to some sort of ironically amusing late-night AM QAnon wankery, but this is so monotonous and self-serious that it becomes simply an interminable dirge that hops episodically from one canned movie-subplot to another. (Only the one about Tim Ballard and his crew establishing an Epstein-style pleasure island diverts mainly because of the tonal schizophrenia.) If you need a movie to spend 135…